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Press Release

Merck Animal Health, AVMF Announce Veterinary Student Innovation Award Winners

American Veterinary Medical Foundation
Posted on: 22 Jun 18
Merck Animal Health, AVMF Announce Veterinary Student Innovation Award Winners

PR Newswire

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 22, 2018

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 22, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Merck Animal Health, in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), recently announced the winners of the 2018 Veterinary Student Innovation Awards.

This new award is designed to recognize graduating seniors at each veterinary school accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association in the U.S. and Canada. Awards were given to students in good academic standing and have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship and creative forward-thinking in the development of a project or product that inspires others within the veterinary profession. 

"At Merck Animal Health, we believe in the science of healthier animals," said Merck Animal Health Vice-President of North America Scott Bormann. "Part of what drives that science is the identification of new challenges and the development of initiatives to address them in our ever-changing industry. We're excited to partner with the AVMF to support these inspiring students."

"We are pleased to recognize and support these outstanding veterinary students," said Dr. Jan K. Strother, chair, AVMF Board of Directors. "Not only have these students displayed entrepreneurial spirit, initiative and creativity, but they are also making a positive difference in their communities and in our veterinary profession." 

Award recipients include:

  • Carolyn Benedetto, Louisiana State University
  • Amanda Carlson, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Meredith Chamberlain, University of Prince Edward Island
  • Caitlin Conner, Texas A & M University
  • Akaterina Davros, Kansas State University
  • Matthew Robert DiFazio, Cornell University
  • Wendy Evans, University of Missouri
  • Anika Farina, Tufts University
  • Shannon Finn, University of Guelph
  • Maryanne Miko Flasik, Colorado State University
  • Mackenzie Gallegos, Michigan State University
  • Nicolas Gendron-Parra, University of Montreal
  • Shannon Gildersleeve, University of Wisconsin
  • John Griffeon, North Carolina State University
  • Courtney Griffin, Mississippi State University
  • Nicholas Hall, Washington State University
  • Lindsey Knox, University of Minnesota
  • Laura MacIntyre, Oregon State University
  • Max Manse, University of California - Davis
  • Kayla Mehan, Lincoln Memorial University
  • Samantha Morici, Auburn University
  • Kara Negrini, Purdue University
  • Dustin Ong, Western University
  • Ruben Pabon Padin, The Ohio State University
  • Chelsea Ruston, Iowa State University
  • Rayeann Solano, Midwestern University
  • Richard Blaine Sparks, University of Tennessee
  • Suzanne Wilson, University of Illinois

Examples of some of the outstanding projects developed by award recipients include:

  • Vets for Vets, a program that benefits the community and animal health by providing rehabilitation care for retired military dogs and police dogs.  

  • The VOICE (Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity) program, which is designed to introduce underrepresented minority high school students to various aspects of the Health Sciences through hands on activities and interactions with current health science students.

  • Development of a surgical assist device to make equine colon evacuation more efficient and complete. The student's goal is to create a device that could be commercially developed and made available to all veterinarians.

To see photos and quotes from some of the award recipients, visit

About Merck Animal Health

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.

About the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF)

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is the charitable arm of the AVMA. For more than 50 years, the AVMF has been developing resources to advance the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation help veterinarians, help animals. Visit to learn more.

Steve Carasso
Manager, Communications and Promotions 
American Veterinary Medical Foundation
Tel: 847-285-6723

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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Foundation

PR Newswire

Last updated on: 22/06/2018

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